The Boys season 4 episode 4 recap and review: "Wisdom of the Ages"

Antony Starr steals the show in The Boys season 4 episode 4
Antony Starr (Homelander) - Credit: Jasper Savage/Prime Video
Antony Starr (Homelander) - Credit: Jasper Savage/Prime Video /

After Amazon dropped the first three episodes of The Boys season 4 last week, we’re getting one episode per week from here on out. Up next is, of course, The Boys season 4 episode 4, titled “Wisdom of the Ages,” which is another banger of an episode.

We’re almost halfway through the 10-episode season, and things are really starting to take shape. The Boys season 4 is as good as a new season of any show in the last few years. The way they’ve discovered the magic formula for this show is interesting, and the story is taking shape. Most of all, these characters are so well-written at this point! It’s just fun to watch it all come together. 

There will be plenty of time to talk about that. Instead, let’s talk about what happens in episode 4 and how it will affect the rest of the season. 

Homelander revisits his past 

Homelander’s journey through three and a half seasons has been interesting, to say the least. Despite the horrible things he has done, I don’t think we’ve really scratched the surface of what he’s actually capable of… until now. 

The episode revolves around Homelander’s trip to the lab where he was raised. He cuts the cameras, phone lines, and all access to the lab before entering with a Fudgie the Whale ice cream cake. He asks all the lab workers to gather ‘round before he takes a trip down memory lane and reveals to Marty, who is in charge at the lab, that he suffered so much growing up. And, one night, when he was making time for a little Homelander time (if you know what I mean), Marty laughed at him in front of everyone. It’s one of the most embarrassing things that’s happened to him after all these years, and it’s clear he’s ready to make them all pay. 

After incinerating Frank in the oven where Frank experimented on Homelander as a kid, he forces Marty to touch himself in front of everyone in the room. When he’s not able to finish the task, Homelander lasers him in the crotch. Then, Barbara arrives, and she asks Homelander to put Marty out of his misery, so Homelander steps on his head, crushing his skull.

Eventually, Homelander and Barbara talk out all of the problems in Homelander’s “bad room” beyond the locked door. She explains that Homelander needed love, and making him require that need, which made him obedient, was their greatest success. At the end of the episode, Homelander kills all of the lab workers and leaves Barbara in the bedroom behind the locked door. 

This is truly one of the most unhinged and terrible things Homelander has ever done. I think we should all be worried about what’s next. 

If there was ever an episode to submit Antony Starr for an Emmy, this might be the episode. It’s an incredible performance that truly shows Starr’s range. We’ve never seen Homelander like this. 

Shining Light ambushes Hughie and Kimiko 

With his father on his deathbed, Hughie drags Kimiko to a meeting with A-Train. Hughie wants A-Train to steal Compound V from Homelander to save his father. After A-Train leaves the meeting, people associated with Shining Light ambush Kimiko and Hughie. They’re forced into an office building and have to fight their way out, but Hughie has a bad ankle. Kimiko uses a bunch of office supplies to arm herself and Hughie. 

Eventually, they are able to fight their way out, but it’s almost too much. They almost die. Luckily, they make it out of the near-death experience, but they miss a lot of the important action. 

Annie nearly kills Firecracker on national TV 

Across the Starlight House, Firecracker sets up a six-hour special TV event where she plans to reveal the truth about Starlight to her followers. Butcher and MM, after Butcher tries to make MM promise to save Ryan if Butcher kicks the bucket, confront Firecracker. They out her as a pedophile for starting a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy when she was a 28-year-old camp counselor. They threaten to post it on Twitter unless Firecracker reveals Sage’s grand plan, but Firecracker presses send on the tweet. Then, she goes on TV and confesses to the crime. 

Then, Firecracker shares the story of Annie’s first save and how Annie accidentally blinded a mother who was held hostage by a gunman. Later, Firecracker shares Annie’s health records and proof that she had an abortion on live TV. Annie snaps. Her anger takes over, and she flies across the street and nearly kills Firecracker while the cameras roll. 

It’s a bad look for Starlight, and President Singer is forced to cut ties with Annie, who had tried to help him win over voters nationwide with the help of the Starlighters. Eventually, MM rescues Annie and brings her back to the Boys HQ, but so much happens in between. 

Butcher discovers incredible powers 

In the chaos, Butcher stole the keys to Firecracker’s trailer before Annie attacked her. Butcher sends Frenchie to investigate and try to find dirt on Firecracker and Sage. In the chaos, Frenchie finds a pill bottle in a gun-shaped clutch. The prescription is for metoclopramine, which is used for heartburn. Interesting. 

Unfortunately, Frenchie is attacked by Ezekiel with his strecy arms and legs. Ezekiel nearly strangles Frenchie until Butcher shows up. He saves Frenchie after Ezekiel nearly kills him, but Ezekiel is still a Supe and Butcher is, well, not… or so we thought. 

As Ezekiel tries to kill Butcher, Butcher sees Rebecca in a vision. She tells him not to give up! Butcher, then, uses what appears to be a worm in his head to literally cause Ezekiel to explode. There is blood and guts everywhere, but it’s still unclear how it all happened until the very end of the episode. 

Butcher, who follows Hughie to his meet-up with A-Train for the Compound V, reveals to Hughie that he tried Compound V to treat his brain cancer months ago. Butcher doesn’t think it gave him powers. He claims it only sped up the cancer. Well, it appears that he does, in fact, have powers. 

Well, this just got very interesting, especially seeing how powerful Butcher actually is. Could he use those powers to save Ryan and stop Homelander? That’s the big question. 

Frenchie reveals the truth to Colin 

Frenchie is rescued by Annie and MM, but they see the damage Butcher caused. Back at the Sharlight House, Colin is taking care of Frenchie, but Frenchie freaks out. He reveals to Colin that he’s the person who killed his whole family. Colin beats him up and calls him a “psychopath.” He nearly kills him, which Frenchie asks him to. Colin tells him that if Frenchie comes near him again that he’ll kill him. 

Sage reveals how her power works 

This whole time, we haven’t known how Sage’s powers works. She shares to Deep that her brain regenerates constantly, and for some reason, she finds pleasure in a frontal lobotomy, which she asks Deep to give her. He sticks a long metal pole through her eye and scrapes around up there. Somehow, it puts her in the mood and craving fast food. 

I don’t quite understand what’s going on, but it seems like there’s something big here. Watch this space for future storylines with our new friend, Sage. 

Hughie’s dad is injected with Compound V

At the end of the episode, Hughie takes the Compound V that A-Train delivers to him to the hospital. He’s struggling with the idea of injecting his father with V. He doesn’t know if it will save his life or kill him. I watched this sequence several times to make sure I understood what was happening, but it appears that Hughie’s mom took the Compound V from Hughie’s jacket after Hughie decided not to give it to him. 

Hughie sets his jacket down, and then he leaves the room to get a coffee and get a breath of air. When he returns, there’s blue liquid, clearly Compound V, entering his father’s bloodstream. Right then, his father wakes up!

And, that's where the episode ends. I have a feeling we'll find out what's up with Hughie's dad very soon!

The Boys season 4 episode 5 will be released on Thursday, June 27.

"Wisdom of the Ages". The Boys season 4 episode 4 . A+. “Wisdom of the Ages” is another superb episode of The Boys. Season 4 is just absolutely incredible. This might be the best season of the series so far, and it’s getting better and better. Antony Starr deserves all the praise for his role in this episode. As Homelander walks this lonely road, Starr turns in an Emmy-worthy performance .